The hotly anticipated 2013 Australian Open 3rd round showdown between Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams turned quickly into a one-sided affair as Masha raced out to a 4-0 first set lead, cruising to a 6-1 6-3 victory. Is Venus a shadow of her old self? Yes. But don’t forget how good she looked the first two rounds, how good she looked at Hopman Cup and that she won her last event in 2012. Masha has looked even better, dropping double bagels on her first two opponents and then taking out Venus with ease. The real question that needs to be answered this year for Masha is can she get past the other Williams sister? We might find out next week.
Masha vs Venus was not the only battle between former world #1s, as Ana Ivanovic took on fellow Serbian star, and fellow former world #1, Jelena Jankovic. Ana hasn’t looked her best yet, but she had enough to get by JJ, 7-5 6-3. There was some drama as to what their post-match handshake would be like. For the record, they hugged and kissed. Both say past hard feelings are between them are just that…in the past. Right now, it’s just about the tennis. And I hate to say this, because I like Jelena as much as Ana. But these two are heading in opposite directions. Ana is on the verge of being a top 10 player again. JJ is really sliding back to the pack more and more. She always depended on her speed and court coverage, and she’s a step or two slower than she once was. She’s not like Ana, who can blast away with her power. I hope JJ, at 27 years old, can catch a second wind in her career, but at this point I just don’t know if she can.
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